TRENTON, NJ - To inaugurate the recently-announced World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., will celebrate Mass at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1 in Our Lady Star of the Sea Chapel of St. Denis Parish – the “Beach Chapel” – at 554 E. Main St., Manasquan. 

Expanding on the theme of his most recent encyclical, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home,” Pope Francis announced the new, worldwide commemoration to be celebrated annually on Sept. 1. 

In the more-than-180-page encyclical, Pope Francis critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls all people of the world to take "swift and unified global action." Since its May 24 release, the document has been endorsed by environmentalists and scientists.

In an Aug. 6 letter, His Holiness wrote thatthe newly-designated World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creationintends for Catholics “to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation, as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”

In announcing the Diocesan event, Bishop O’Connell said, “Thanks to the gracious hospitality of Father William Lago, pastor of St. Denis Parish, we are able to commemorate this inaugural event in their beautiful chapel. It will be an appropriate setting for this Mass — during sunset at the Jersey shore — and a dramatic reminder of the beautiful gift of creation that we are called to protect.”

Interested faithful are welcome to join in the worldwide day of prayer, either by attending Mass in the chapel or in their personal prayers. Priests of the Diocese are invited to concelebrate.